The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld receives Award for Excellence in LGBT Media at NLGJA

Kerry Eleveld, whose reporting and commentary at The Advocate are often linked to here at the Blend, received a well-deserved award from her peers. It’s always good to know that she’s in the White House Press Briefing room to show what it takes to get a straight — ahem — answer out of Robert Gibbs. (NLGJA):

Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate has been selected to be honored with the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media. Named for the late Newsweek journalist and founding editor of Out magazine, the award recognizes outstanding contributions of a journalist working in the LGBT media.

Of Eleveld’s work, judges said: “Eleveld needs to be commended for pushing for a D.C. bureau for The Advocate,” as well as “From her unique place inside the White House, she’s consistently making news and controlling the direction of news stories.”

Having an out reporter focusing on our issues in that briefing room has made a huge difference in how this administration and the rest of the journalists in the room perceive the community. It inevitably draws more attention and competition for the MSM to cover our issues better — and more accurately. And having spent some time around Kerry, she is never “off-duty.” The above photo was taken in Maine during a party; I don’t think she filed any stories from there.

One thing I’d like to mention Kerry has to walk a fine line; while she is recognized for her reporting with this award, she is equally well-known for her “View from Washington” column, her commentary on issues (including some of the stories she covers), where she is able to give more in-depth perspective. This dual role is actually a more beneficial and honest presentation to the community – the fantasy line of “journalistic objectivity” is crossed all the time by the MSM; why not just do the right thing and label reporting and commentary. What a concept.

Congratulations, Kerry. Don’t let the accolades go to your head – even though Gibbs is still scared of your raised hand in the briefing room. Joe has more, including video of Kerry sparring with Gibbs.

The other award winners are below the fold…

 

The 2010 NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards:

Journalist of the Year Award

Winner: Randy Gener, American Theatre magazine

Honorable mention: Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media

Winner: Kerry Eleveld, The Advocate

Excellence in News Writing Award

Winner: Jen Colletta, Philadelphia Gay News, “Researchers: Gays Excluded from Clinical Trials”

Honorable mention: Phillip Zonkel, Press-Telegram, “Suffering in Silence”

Excellence in Feature Writing Award

Winner: Benoit Denizet-Lewis , The New York Times Magazine, “Coming Out in Middle School”

Honorable mention: Alfred P. Doblin, The Record, “Stonewall Started It”

Excellence in Opinion Writing Award

Winner: Maya Rupert , LA Watts Times, “I Believe in America ”

Honorable mention: LZ Granderson , CNN, “Gay Is Not the New Black”

Excellence in Network Television Award

Winner: Bud Bultman, Rose Arce, Dave Timko, Amanda Sealy, and Steve Keller, CNN, “Her Name Was Steven”

Honorable mention: Jacqueline Gares and Amber Hall, In the Life, “40th Anniversary of Stonewall”

Excellence in Radio Award

Winner: Jad Abumrad and Aaron Scott, Radiolab, “New Stu”

Honorable mention: Tim Curran, Aaron McQuade and Dave Gorab; Sirius XM OutQ News; “Stonewall 40 Minutes” series

Excellence in Online Journalism Award

Winner: Dave Singleton and Team, AARP.org, “The Stonewall Riots: 40 Years Later”

Honorable mention: Jessica Bennett, Kathy Jones, Margaret Keady, Jennifer Molina, Monica Parra and Carl Sullivan ; Newsweek.com; “From Stonewall to Mainstream”

Excellence in Photojournalism Award

Winner: Scott A. Drake, Philadelphia Gay News, “PDA With a Purpose”

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award

Winner: Michel Martin and the staff of Tell Me More, Tell Me More/NPR

Honorable mention: Jennifer Morton, POZ, “How Stigma Kills”

Excellence in Student Journalism Award

Winner: Todd Cross , Syracuse University multimedia graduate student, “Transgender: The Path to One’s Identity”

Honorable mention: Laura Lofgren, Fusion magazine, “The Importance of Being Aaron”

Founded in 1990, NLGJA is the leading professional organization for LGBT journalists with 20 chapters nationwide, as well as members around the globe. This year, NLGJA celebrates two decades of advocating for fair and accurate reporting on LGBT issues

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Congrats to Kerry Eleveld on her award for ‘Excellence in LGBT Media’

For the past year and a half, either late on Friday or early Saturday, we post a link to Kerry Eleveld’s weekly column, The View from Washington. I’ll be linking to the latest column later.

But, first, we have to offer our congratulations to Ms. Eleveld, who is receiving the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media tonight at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association (NLGJA) conference in San Francisco. When NLGJA announced the award, the press release stated:

Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate has been selected to be honored with the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media. Named for the late Newsweek journalist and founding editor of Out magazine, the award recognizes outstanding contributions of a journalist working in the LGBT media.

Of Eleveld’s work, judges said: “Eleveld needs to be commended for pushing for a D.C. bureau for The Advocate,” as well as “From her unique place inside the White House, she’s consistently making news and controlling the direction of news stories.”

Indeed, Kerry has been making news since she arrived in D.C. last year. She’s broken story after story — and has asked savvy questions of those in power. The LGBT community has benefited immeasurably from having her on the D.C. beat.

I love to watch her in action. I know when she asks a question, it’s so well thought out that she’s going to get news from it. I guess that’s why the White House hasn’t let her interview the President. For example, this question to Robert Gates showed up on Rachel Maddow:

So, congrats to Kerry. It’s an honor well-deserved.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Trannies Director Israel Luna Explains How To Get Jarrett Barrios To Give You a GLAAD Award

Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives filmmaker Israel Luna is still smarting from GLAAD's attack on his transexual slash flick that debuted at Tribeca. So he put together this little item about how to win a Gay & Lesbian Alliance All About Defamation Award. Fake GLAAD head Jarrett Barrios guest stars!

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Rachel Maddow to receive Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award

Kudos to Rachel! News legend Walter Cronkite, who passed away at 92 in July 2009, would be proud of this recipient of the award in his name. Rachel Maddow joins the company of Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Larry King, and Bill and Judith Moyers.

The Interfaith Alliance announced Monday that it would award its 2010 Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom award to the MSNBC anchor in honor of her work covering religion and politics. Maddow will receive the award alongside Chautaqua Institution Department of Religion Director Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell.

The award, which will be presented at a gala dinner in New York in October, “recognizes individuals who courageously promote democratic values, defend religious freedom and reinvigorate informed civic participation,” according to the announcement.

Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy: “Rachel’s passionate coverage of the intersection of religion and politics exhibits a strong personal intellect coupled with constitutional sensitivity to the proper boundaries between religion and government.”

***

I was always a big fan of Walter Cronkite. I would ask my mom if we could have Walter Cronkite over for dinner because I wanted to ask him about the news. She said that was the only person on TV that I ever asked that about. That never came to pass, of course, but I watched him cover the news of the day with rapt attention.

And there’s probably some little girl out there watching Rachel Maddow each night, dreaming the same dream about having her over to dinner to discuss politics.

Related:

* Missing dinner with Walter Cronkite
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

DART accused of transphobia

Judge reversed order after transit agency fought longtime employee’s gender-marker change last year

John Wright | News Editor
wright@dallasvoice.com

TRANS FRIENDLY? | Judge Lynn Cherry, right, is shown alongside drag performer Chanel during Stonewall Democrats’ 2008 holiday party at the Round-Up Saloon. A few months later, Cherry ruled against a transgender DART employee and overturned a gender-marker change. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

DART stands accused of bigotry and transphobia after attorneys for the local transit agency intervened in family court last year to challenge a gender-marker change granted to an employee.

According to court records, a transgender DART employee obtained a court order in February 2009 directing all state agencies to correct their records by changing her gender-marker from male to female, including on her birth certificate.

As Dallas Voice reported last week, many Dallas County judges have been routinely granting gender-marker changes to transgender people who meet set criteria — including documentation from licensed medical personnel — since the Democratic sweep of 2006.

The DART employee, who’s name is being withheld to protect her anonymity, later presented the court order to the transit agency’s human resources department and requested that her personnel records be changed to reflect her new gender.

But DART’s attorneys objected to the gender-marker change and responded by filing a motion seeking a rehearing in court. DART’s objections prompted 301st Family District Court Judge Lynn Cherry to reverse her order granting the gender-marker change.

“Where does this stop when an employer can start interfering with your personal life and family law decisions?” said longtime local transgender activist Pamela Curry, a friend of the DART employee who brought the case to the attention of Dallas Voice. “She was devastated. This should be a serious concern to a lot of people — everybody — and I just think this story needs to be told.”

Judge Cherry, who received Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ Pink Pump Award for her support of the group last year, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment this week.

Morgan Lyons, a spokesman for DART, noted that Cherry reversed her order before the agency actually filed its motion for a rehearing. However, Curry alleges that DART’s attorneys met with Cherry privately and pressured her into reversing the order.

As is common with gender-marker changes, the case file has been sealed, but Dallas Voice obtained copies of some of the court documents from Curry.

In their motion for a rehearing, DART attorneys Harold R. McKeever and Hyattye Simmons argued that Texas law grants registrars, not judges, the authority to amend birth certificates. They also argued that birth certificates could be amended only if they were inaccurate at the time of birth.

“It’s not a DART issue, it’s a point of law,” Lyons told Dallas Voice this week, in response to the allegations of bigotry. “The lawyers concluded that the birth certificate could not be altered by law, unless there was a mistake made when the birth certificate was completed, and again, the judge changed the order before we even wound up going into court with it.”

Asked about DART’s LGBT-related employment policies, Lyons said the agency’s nondiscrimination policy includes sexual orientation but not gender identity/expression. The agency, which is governed by representatives from Dallas and numerous suburbs, also doesn’t offer benefits to the domestic partners of employees.

Lyons didn’t respond to other allegations made by Curry, including that the agency has fought the employee’s transition from male to female at every step of the way.

Curry, who helped the employee file her pro se petition for a gender-marker change, said the employee has worked for DART for more than 20 years and has an outstanding performance record.

The employee began to come out as transgender in 2003 and had gender reassignment surgery more than three years ago, Curry said. Curry said DART supervisors have at various times told the employee that she couldn’t have long hair, couldn’t wear skirts to work and couldn’t use women’s restrooms at work.

The employee has responded by showing up at work in her uniform so she doesn’t have to change and using public restrooms on her bus route, Curry said.

Supervisors have also told the employee she can’t talk to the media and can’t join political groups, such as Stonewall Democrats, Curry said.

“She’s intimidated and she’s scared,” Curry said. “One supervisor even suggested to her that if she doesn’t lay off it, they will mess up her retirement.”

Elaine Mosher, a Dallas attorney who’s familiar with the case, also questioned why DART intervened. Mosher didn’t represent the employee in the case but has handled gender-marker changes for other clients.

Mosher said the employee’s gender doesn’t have any bearing on her ability to do her job at DART.

“My argument in any gender marker matter is, the birth certificate was wrong, that’s why they had to go through the transition surgery, in essence to put them in the correct gender,” Mosher said. “All I can tell you is that it seems strange to me that DART would care one way or another what the gender marker of anybody that works for them is.”

Moster added that she believes someone at DART may have been “freaked out” by the employee’s transition from male to female and developed a “vendetta” against her.

“I wish I had a good explanation for why [DART got involved] other than the fact that I know there are people out there who are utterly blind and prejudiced for no other reason than they are,” Mosher said. “I compare it to some of the nonsense African-Americans had to live through in the ’60s.”

Mosher also said she’s “very surprised” that Cherry reversed the order granting the gender marker change.

Erin Moore, president of Stonewall Democrats, said she’s heard “bits and pieces” of the story but isn’t sure of all the facts.

Moore said in response to her questions about the case, Cherry told her she couldn’t talk about it because it’s still within the timeframe for a possible appeal.

“Lynn is a longtime supporter of Stonewall and I would think she would be fair in the case,” Moore said. “I’m confident she’s an ally to this community.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 19, 2010.

—  admin

I wish I were Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep, left, and Sandra Bullock celebrate their joint Best Actress win at the Critics Choice Awards
Meryl Streep, left, and Sandra Bullock celebrate their joint Best Actress win at the Critics Choice Awards

Okay. I never thought I’d say this, but I wish I were Meryl Streep. Or actually, I wish I had been in Meryl Streep’s place last Friday night at the Critics Choice Awards when Sandra Bullock laid one on Meryl!

I don’t watch awards shows, or keep up with them at all, but apparently Bullock and Streep tied for the Critics Choice Best Actress award (Streep for her role in “Julie & Julia” and Bullock for her role in “The Blind Side”). And Sandra grabbed hold and gave Meryl a big ol’ smooch to celebrate.

Then at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Streep won Best Actress in a comedy and Bullock won Best Actress in a drama. From what I read at GossipSauce.com, they are both up for Best Actress at the SAG Awards this coming Sunday and at the Oscars.

Ms. Bullock, if you’re out there somewhere reading this, just let me make one thing perfectly clear: I have always loved you, and if you wanted to stop by the Dallas Voice offices some day and give me a big ol’ kiss, I wouldn’t mind at all. Even my wife wouldn’t mind!

—  admin